Homeschool: The Key To Sound Christian Education In The 21st Century

Jeshurun Christian School Opening Ceremony on September 22 2015

Jeshurun Christian SchoolBy Grace Song

Let’s face it: our world is not the same place that it was 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Ever surrounded by new developments in our lives, we find ourselves easily swept away by the modern trends of society that seem to be changing at an ever-quickening pace. Innovative and creative thinking can be a positive tool for progress. However, we cannot allow “progress” to eclipse our primary identity as children of God who do not belong “to the world,” but simply reside within it (John 17:16). This dichotomy can create tension as we are forced to make difficult decisions regarding how we live our lives. The same struggle applies to the realm of education and the question of how we should raise our children in the 21st century.

Some families elect to send their children to private Christian schools for a more Biblical education than public school can provide. However, not every parent is afforded this option, for reasons such as financial and geographical limitations. As a result, more and more parents have resorted to homeschooling as an option for providing sound education for their children, and have discovered its powerful and effective merit.

Home based instruction is not a novel concept and was  previously the norm of this country during colonial times. However, the push for “common schools” in the mid-nineteenth century caused the decline of such home instruction[1]. Gradually, increased federal control over public schools and secular humanism led to the re-birth of homeschool education in the mid-1900s, as parents became concerned about the contents taught within the classroom and adhered more strongly to “sola scriptura.”[2]

According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), “An estimated 3.4 million U.S. adults have been homeschooled for at least one year of their K-12 years, and they were homeschooled an average of 6 to 8 years. If one adds to this number the 2.3 million being homeschooled today, an estimated 5.7 million Americans have experienced being homeschooled.[3]” Not only are homeschooled individuals forming a larger portion of society, they are outperforming their public-schooled peers academically. Statistics show that “they score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized achievement tests.”

Compared to the general population, home learners also participate in local community service more frequently (71% compared to 37%) and attendJeshurun Christian School college at a higher rate (74% compared to 46%).[4]

Regarding their performance in society, NHERI states, “The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.”[5]

Homeschool education is on the rise. Yet not all parents may be ready to take on the full-time task of teaching their children at home. This is why Dr. Rev. Yong Ju Jee, who has pastored the Korean Church of Syracuse for more the 15 years, came up with an alternative path to homeschooling for students looking for affordable and tailor-fit education that focuses on academic excellence and Biblical character development. It all began in 2009, when Rev. Jee was inspired by a single word that God continually engraved in his mind and on his heart: “school.” Since then, he has been actively working to create a school that can meet the growing educational needs of society while also providing sound Biblical education to children. After several years of research, planning and meeting with an organized staff of around 12 members, Jeshurun Christian School (JCS) was finally founded in 2015.

The name “Jeshurun” comes from Isaiah 44:2, which states, “…Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.” The name means “righteous and upright one” and carries the meaning of “belonging to the Lord.” The school is founded on the firm belief that we are children of God and that just like Israel, God calls us righteous and upright. The hope is for students to recognize their identity in God as such through academic learning and spiritual growth.

A private, 7 – 12th grade Christian high school located in Syracuse, NY, Jeshurun Christian School hopes to cultivate future global leaders who choose to live for God’s dream. Founded on a Biblical perspective, JCS educates students on how to grow into God-centered adults through an experiential learning model that integrates classroom knowledge with practical field applications. Through ministries such as the Boaz Project, an outreach ministry that shares the Gospel to refugee populations through computer classes, or Lodi Summer Camp, a weeklong VBS camp held every summer in the poverty-filled streets of Lodi, students are given the opportunity to take the knowledge that they have learned within the classroom and apply it to real-life situations. Through customized curriculum, based on both character building and academic excellence, JCS promotes the principle “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This command of Jesus in Matthew 6:33 inspired the school’s motto, as a reminder that the purpose of JCS is to mold students into true followers of Christ, who seek to dedicate their lives to God’s Kingdom and His righteousness rather than pursuing earthly honor or riches.

Jeshurun Christian SchoolJeshurun Christian School is currently accepting student applications for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. For more information, please join us at one of our information sessions at the Community Library of Dewitt (5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville, NY 13078), taking place on Saturday June 16th from 2-4:30 PM and Wednesday July 11th from 2-5 PM.

You may also contact us at 315-474-8346 (school office), 315-825-1424 (cell) or visit www.jeshurunchristianschool.org.

[1] Cremin, Lawrence A. The transformation of the school: Progressivism in American education, 1876-1957. New York, NY: Vintage Books, a division of Random House, 1961.

[2] Ray, Brian D. “A Brief History of Homeschooling in the United States.” Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. https://carm.org/brief-history-homeschooling-united-states.

[3] Ray, Brian D. “Research Facts on Homeschooling.” 13 Jan. 2018. National Home Education Research Institute. https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/

[4] “Is Homeschooling a Better System of Education” 25 Mar. 2011. Oxbridge Essays. https://www.oxbridgeessays.com/blog/home-schooling-better-system-education/

[5] Ray, Brian D. “Research Facts on Homeschooling.” 13 Jan. 2018. National Home Education Research Institute. https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/

 

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